A year to the week after “Lil’” Ray Rodriguez introduced his underworld-themed 2015 Peterbilt 389 and Western stepdeck, the equipment hauler has been named the 2015 Overdrive’s Pride & Polish National Champion in the Limited-Mileage Combo category.
Joining Rodriguez as 2015 champs were Phil Miller and his 2010 Pete 389 and Wilson livestock hauler, winning in the Working Combo category; Vinnie Diorio and his 1985 Peterbilt 359 in the Working Bobtail category; and Todd Roccapriore’s 1999 Peterbilt 379, called “Disorderly Conduct,” in the Limited-Mileage Bobtail category.
The winners were announced at a ceremony Aug. 29 at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Texas, along with a long list of other winners in the show’s annual Pride & Polish competition.
Rodriguez and his combo, which he named “Wicked,” won Best of Show at last year’s GATS, qualifying it to compete in the National Championship round of judging. He also picked up a Best of Show victory at the Dynaflex Monster Stack Shootout Pride & Polish earlier this year. The equipment hauler runs a three-truck fleet out of Salinas, Calif.
Newcomer Phil Miller’s combo also picked up a Best of Show win at the Monster Stack Shootout in California. The Amargosa Valley, Nev.-based owner-operator hauls mostly cattle with the rig.
Richfield, Wis.-based small fleet owner Vinnie Diorio’s victory was his third straight National Championship, though this year’s is the first for his newly built 1985 Peterbilt 359. The show just hit the show circuit this summer: Diorio introduced it at Shell’s annual SuperRigs competition in June, where it also won the show’s top prize. It then won Best of Show at the the Fitzgerald Truck Show Pride & Polish in mid-July, qualifying it to compete in the national championship.
Roccapriore’s Disorderly Conduct’s win was the second for the rig and the second for Roccapriore. The ‘99 Pete, which Roccapriore rebuilt after taking ownership of it last year, also won the 2010 championship. And Roccapriore in 2012 won the Pride & Polish championship in the same Limited-Mileage Bobtail category with his highly customized ‘05 Peterbilt 379 “Family Buziness.”
Roccapriore also is well known for his 2004 Peterbilt 379 “Widow Maker,” which has picked up a few Pride & Polish Best of Show wins and is on display at this year’s Great American Trucking Show.
A fifth Pride & Polish national champ was also named at GATS. The Truckers’ Choice national champ, Mike Lemley and his 2000 Peterbilt 379, was picked by Overdrive readers in an online voting contest.
Four Best of Show winners were also named in the show’s general Pride & Polish competition, and they’re now qualified to compete in the 2015 Pride & Polish National Championship, which culminates at next year’s Great American Trucking Show in Dallas in August.
Owner-operator Josh Skidmore and his latest entrant into the show circuit, a 2016 Peterbilt 389, won Best of Show in the Limited-Mileage Bobtail category. The Brigham City, Utah, resident has seen strong showings in recent years at Pride & Polish competitions.
Jordan Jay out of Rigby, Ind., picked up the Best of Show victory in the Limited-Mileage Combo category. Jay is also showing a 2016 Peterbilt 389, along with a 2016 Western flatbed, a combo he’s named “Revolution.”
In the working truck categories, Dustin Ballard and Jim Bob Cross won in the Working Bobtail category with their 1995 Peterbilt 379, and Joe Regalado won Best of Show, Working Combo with his 2000 Peterbilt 379 and CTS Sand Master trailer.
Israel Turner of West Point, Miss., won the Builders Class competition with his 1979 Peterbilt 359.
Below are photos of the Best of Show winners. See the full list of winners from this year’s GATS Pride & Polish competition next week.